Tourism is undoubtedly the sector that has suffered the most from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic because a huge number of holidays and overnight stays have been cancelled and the cancellations are continuing to come in.
According to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, tourism will suffer enormous damage from the pandemic, with hoteliers claiming that the damage has already amounted to EUR 2.7 million due to the cancellation of overnight stays between March and the first half of April alone.
Travel agencies are also facing major problems and, according to the Director of the National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (JUTA) Aleksandar Senicic, the recommendation is that, due to the pandemic, all travels, scheduled to take place by May 15, should be cancelled.
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“People in Serbia have booked and paid close to 100,000 overnight stays and holidays mainly in Italy and European cities, but also in other destinations,” said Senicic.
“They can contact travel agencies and agree on a method of reimbursement; the proposal is to offer another trip of the same value as the amount paid or have the same trip at another time,” he added.
He pointed out that money already paid cannot be refunded because both transport and accommodation have already been paid for and that travel agencies have liquidity problems due to the current pandemic situation. The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications is also aware of this, so JUTA expects to meet with the Ministry to find a solution and assist travel agencies.
“Unfortunately, there is no refund, so customers are offered the possibility to change the date or a form of contractual termination, i.e. the possibility to choose another date for the planned trip during the ongoing year. We recommend clients to be patient and trust that the money they have paid for their holidays, which cannot be paid back, is safe,” says Senicic.
According to him, customers will be offered cancellations of previous travel contracts, with the obligation for the tour operator to provide a service equal to the value of the trip paid within one year of the planned travel date.
(Vesti Online, 28.03.2020)
This post is also available in: Italiano